The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe had a milestone win in U.S. District Court last week, in a case remarkable only for how clear-cut the decision should have been from the start.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the Mille Lacs Band’s reservation boundaries set in the Treaty of 1855 are still its boundaries today, according to the Pioneer Press.
Seems pretty straight forward. But with treaties, things are never straight forward.
The backstory for this case is the backstory for every treaty between the U.S. government and Indigenous peoples: The Treaty of 1855 was terribly one sided in favor of the U.S. government, but even then settlers and their descendants tried, and continue to try, to break faith with Indigenous communities and renege on what small treaty promises they made.Continue reading